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Towards printable robotics: Origami-inspired planar fabrication of three-dimensional mechanisms

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3 Author(s)
Onal, C.D. ; Comput. Sci. & Artificial Intell. Lab., Massachusetts Inst. of Technol., Cambridge, MA, USA ; Wood, R.J. ; Rus, D.

This work presents a technique which allows the application of 2-D fabrication methods to build 3-D robotic systems. The ability to print robots introduces a fast and low-cost fabrication method to modern, real-world robotic applications. To this end, we employ laser-engraved origami patterns to build a new class of robotic systems for mobility and manipulation. Origami is suitable for printable robotics as it uses only a flat sheet as the base structure for building complicated functional shapes, which can be utilized as robot bodies. An arbitrarily complex folding pattern can be used to yield an array of functionalities, in the form of actuated hinges or active spring elements. For actuation, we use compact NiTi coil actuators placed on the body to move parts of the structure on-demand. We demonstrate, as a proof-of-concept case study, the end-to-end fabrication and assembly of a simple mobile robot that can undergo worm-like peristaltic locomotion.

Published in:

Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2011 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

9-13 May 2011

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